Countering the spin: how journalism education can combat the culture of silence

Simpson, Lindsay (2005) Countering the spin: how journalism education can combat the culture of silence. Australian Studies in Journalism, 15. pp. 119-132.

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The gap between what is actually happening in the world and how powerful interests try to portray what is happening is ever widening. Due to an increase in 'spin' and a decrease in resources spent on breaking news from media production houses, the role of journalism as a public watchdog has been significantly eroded. Institutions of higher education are an obvious place to assist in reinstating the notion of the media as the 'fourth estate'. Putting news back on the agenda as a matter -of social conscience and public debate means teaching students deeper research skills, often neglected by the media industry where time constraints of deadlines often work against investigative journalism. It is in the context of university education that students can engage with the issues, values and skills that will enable them to develop a sense of pro-activity in newsgathering. This paper reflects on two investigative journalism subjects taught within the postgraduate coursework program at the University of Tasmania between 2003 and 2005. It explores the successes and pitfalls of guiding students through the process of researching and crafting the investigative story. This paper argues that mentoring students to gain publication of their research in the media not only better equips them to enter the professional arena but also takes their stories beyond their immediate academic context to connect with a wider audience thus making a valuable contribution towards reinstating the notion of the media as a fourth estate.

Item ID: 4519
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1038-6130
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2009 03:50
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing @ 100%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8999 Other Information and Communication Services > 899999 Information and Communication Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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